Inducted in 2002
Daniel Gacetta, Sr.
Born on November 4, 1919 in Rumford, Maine
Stephens High School, 1938
Boston University, B.S., 1943

Dan was a member of Stephens High's undefeated football team that ranked number one in the State Class A Division. He was selected as the First Team All-StateEnd by Portland Sunday Telegram and received his football scholarship to Boston University, where he was a member of varsity football and golf teams.

From 1943-1946, Dan attended the U.S. Naval Reserve Midshipman School at Columbia University and was commissioned as an ensign assigned to Patrol Craft USS 1244, Guam, South Pacific, where he was the Supply and Engineer Officer receiving the rank of Lieutenant, Junior Grade.

Gacetta returned from WWII and was employed by the Nestle Company as the New England Merchandising Manager, where he won a regional sales contest and was honored at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York. In 1970, as manager of Federal Distillers Northern New England Division, he became the first U.S.A. representative to open the Canadian market, attaining distribution from British Columbia to Newfoundland. In 1990 he was appointed sales manager of Atlantic Wines and Spirits of Baltimore, MD, calling on military bases in New England and upstate New York.

Highlights with the Maine Sports Hall of Fame:

  • Spearheaded numerous Maine sports events over his 18 years including a Boston Celtics annual exhibition game; most notably the 1985 game vs. the New Jersey Nets. That year the Celtics were named the greatest team of all time by the NBA Commissioner. Another worthy of mention match-up was between the Maine Mariners and the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team in 1979. The Olympic team won the game 1-0. During the 1980 U.S. Olympics, the same team went on to defeat the Russians at Lake Placis for the gold medal. Gacetta and son Dan, Jr. attended the Olympic games andmet Jack Kelly, President of the Olympics plus notables Lnida Frattiani, Tia Babaloni, andRandy Gardener.
  • He has been actively involved in successful U.S. Olympic Fund Drives with Joan Benoit-Samuelson, who won the first ever women's U.S. Olympic Marathon by setting a record in 1984. Dan was a guest of Joan at that famous event and shares a highly publicized photo with her at the finish line. With daughter Celeste Robinson and Cheryl Gacetta and son Dan, Jr. had front row seats and greeted Joanie after the race.

Dan has served in a variety of leadership roles: as a Paul Harris Fellow in the South Portland/Cape Elizaveth Rotary Club; Chariman of a number of major fund drives at the Purpoodock Country Club; and, U.S. Olympic Committee in 1979. He also served as President of the Purpoodock Club from 1965-1967,and Chairman of Construction of a new clubhouse and an additional nine holes for the golf course. Fort Willias Park Advisory Committee member from 1982-'88, Cape Elizabeth, Maine. Member of the Portland Country Club from 1970-1995.

Current organizations: Knights of Columbus; Cheverus Council, South Portland; American Legion, Harold T. Andrews Post #17, Portland; Charter Member, Maine Chapter National Football Foundation & College Football Hall of Fame; and, member of International Association of Sports Museums & Halls of Fame.

Dan was married to the late Mary Ann Donahue and Priscilla W. Gorman. He has two daughters, Celeste Robinson and Cherly Gacetta, and a son, Dan, Jr.

Contact Us

Maine Sports Hall of Fame
P.O. Box 2
Cumberland, ME 04021

Phone (207) 807-7666

Our Mission

The Maine Sports Hall of Fame was established in 1972 for the purpose of: 1) appointing and bestowing recognition awards and scholarships to outstanding Maine high school scholar-athletes; and, 2) to formally honor and memorialize Maine athletes and sports figures who have brought distinction and honor to the state of Maine.

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